Love Is Blind and Deaf

Jonathan Safran Foer

Read time: about 2 minutes

I absolutely loved this story. Each line of it was magic! Read for yourself:

Adam and Eve lived together happily for a few days. Being blind, Adam never had to see the oblong, splotchy birthmark across Eve’s cheek, or her rotated incisor, or the gnawed remnants of her fingernails. And, being deaf, Eve never had to hear how weakly narcissistic Adam was, how selectively impervious to reason and unwonderfully childlike. It was good.

But at some point Adam got eyes and Eve started hearing. They discovered how imperfect each of them was. It started going downhill from there.

First they fought passively, then they despaired privately, then they used the new words ambiguously, then pointedly, then they conceived Cain, then they hurled the early creations, then they argued about who owned the pieces of what had never belonged to anybody. They hollered at each other from the opposite sides of the garden to which they’d retreated:

You’re ugly! You’re stupid and wicked!

They needed peace.

There were only apples to eat, so Adam bound his hands with fig-leaf stems and Eve stuffed her mouth with fig leaves. It was good until it wasn’t. He went to bed before he was tired, pulling a fig-leaf quilt up to his nostrils, which were plugged with torn fig leaves. She squinted through a veil of fig leaves into her fig-leaf phone, the only light in the room of the world, and listened to herself listening to him struggle to breathe. They were always inventing new ways not to be aware of the canyon between them.

This is a story describing the relationships that we have today. How each one is trying to ignore the canyon between them so that the peace is not disturbed. They are not looking for paradise but peace.

“They wouldn’t be so restless if they weren’t so close.”

The story begins with a biblical account adapted into today’s scenario and ends with a subtle jibe on relationships and how it works these days.

Read the story on The New Yorker for free using this link.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH